Festival – Day 5

Sunday, March 20, 2022
3:00 pm

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major K379

Tessa Lark, violin, Jeewon Park, piano

Lowell Liebermann

String Quartet No. 6

Dover Quartet

Antonín Dvořák

Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

Axel Strauss, violin, Tessa Lark, violin, Dimitri Murrath, viola, Edward Arron, cello, David Fung, piano

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AN ACCOMPLISHED CONCERT VIOLINIST as well as a pianist, Mozart produced thirty-one violin sonatas over the course of his lifetime. Although Mozart had described the violin as an instrument “ad libitum” in his earliest sonatas and as “accompaniment” to the piano at a later stage (which includes K. 379), he eventually acknowledged the violin as the full equal to the piano in the sonata partnership.

Within a three-month period in 1781 Mozart wrote five violin sonatas and dedicated them not to a violinist but rather to his capable piano student Josepha Auernhammer, whom he described as “a silly girl in love with him.” Mozart sent a remarkable letter regarding K. 379 to his father, Leopold:  “I wrote a G major sonata with violin accompaniment for myself last night between eleven and twelve; but to finish it for the performance, I wrote out only the violin accompaniment and retained my own part in my head.” At that particular court concert, the Emperor Joseph glanced at the piano score which Mozart appeared to be following. Seeing only empty staves, he inquired, “Where is your part?”  Mozart put his hand on his forehead. “There,” he said.

ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST frequently performed and recorded living composers, Lowell Liebermann has written in all genres and is himself an active pianist. Tonight’s composition is his second work to be commissioned and premiered by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, the first being his Piano Trio No. 3 in 2013. Liebermann’s String Quartet No. 6 was completed in December 2021 and is sponsored in loving memory of David Cornell by Joyce Cornell.

DVOŘÁK’S OPUS 81 PIANO QUINTET ranks as one of the finest creations in the quintet repertoire. Completed in 1887, the work had incubated for sixteen years; an early three-movement version had been premiered and included in his personal catalogue as Opus 5 but not published. As his reputation grew and the demand for his chamber music increased, Dvořák decided to revisit his rejected earlier works. The publisher Simrock welcomed all revisions, but the self-critical Dvořák still hesitated to submit the quintet. After much prodding he finally produced a drastically revised four-movement quintet that benefited from his current nationalistic impulse, which had resulted in the spirited Dumky Trio and the Slavonic Dances.

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